Massive Attack, 3D
was a renowned graffiti artist around Bristol, getting nicked several times
for his trouble. His work inspired whole generation of Bristol Sprayers, based
around the Barton Hill Youth Club. Then they all got nicked as well. In July
of 1985 the Arnolfini Gallery put on a show of graffiti art, the artists - Including 3D, spraying
directly on to the gallery walls. The work was perhaps a little disappointing,
its raw energy losing something between the institutional context and the rather
porus character of the gallery walls, but for one night the Wild Bunch were
invited to put on a jam in the main downstairs gallery.
3D together with Goldie Brim and Biro set up the Trans-Atlantic Federation - a collective of artists. He also exhibited his work in one-man shows.
Goldie: By that time we were doing loads of graffiti festivals through Martin, and when Brim came up to see us, we went on the trip to the Arnolfini. I'll never forget, we got there in a Rover 3.5 with a V8 engine, but with no tax or insurance. I'd already seen the obnoxiousness of the London scene but Bristol was different. That night at a house party I first met the Wild Bunch, who were B-Boy dons to me: Milo, Nellee Hooper, 3-D, Daddy G and Mushroom.
Nellee Hooper: I was DJing with the Wild Bunch (Massive Attack, me and DJ Milo) and it was the beginning of hip-hop culture; we were completely obsessed. We weren't interested in anyone who didn't live hip-hop, we had all the best tunes, all the gear - Cazal sunglasses, goose jackets, the best sneakers, and all from New York. I remember going to Harlem, iz^th Street, on my own, looking for sneakers and the master tapes from Wildstyle. I was twenty-one years old - I must have been out of my mind. We were convinced we were cooler than anyone in London and definitely anywhere else in the country. I guess I met Goldie in 1984, 1985 in Bristol. It was at the Redhouse, an illegal warehouse in St Pauls. We had over two thousand people rocking, and in the crowd the usual suspects:Roni Size, Smith & Mighty, Newtrament, Tim Westwood, lots of B-Boy posturing . . . and we ruled! Suddenly a break-dancing stand-off started with Goldie and his B-Boys battling Bristol's City Rockers. They were much better and they had books of their own graffiti, much better than the shit 3D and T.U.M.A. (The Underground Massive Attack) were doing. Goldie was in ... one of us (without the cool gear!)
Goldie: Anyone from Massive can tell you about me walking round Bristol with a long overcoat and a sawn-off, trying to give it the big 'un. They were into funk in Bristol, but when 3-D came over to Wolverhampton for more filming on Bombin' we did this painting at Heath Town called T.A.R', which stood for Trans-Atlantic Federation, showing that we were looking across the Atlantic to people like Brim and Bio. 3-D also brought me a tape of music he'd recorded for me. On one side was Miles Davis's album Decoy^ and on the other was the soundtrack to Taxi Driver. I listened to Decoy for years but never understood it, couldn't get my head around it. It was only later when I started making music I got some- where; the track 'Dragonfly' on Saturnz Return was based on Miles, but also I dug it because by that rime I had become very well acquainted with drugs and what Miles was doing was describing the loneliness of the situation. But that's way down the line. For the time being people like Nellee and 3-D were talented guys from another part of the country who I made a real connection with and we had a right laugh making the film (Bombing) and hanging out together.
(from Nine Lives by Goldie)